Samuel Adams (September 27 [O.S. September 16] 1722 –
October 2, 1803) was an American statesman, political philosopher, and
one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a politician
in colonial Massachusetts, a leader of the movement that became the
American Revolution, and one of the architects of the principles of
American republicanism that shaped the political culture of the United
States. He was a second cousin to fellow Founding Father, President
Adams was born in Boston, brought up in a religious and politically
active family. A graduate of Harvard College, he was an unsuccessful
businessman and tax collector before concentrating on politics. He was
an influential official of the
Massachusetts House of Representatives
Boston Town Meeting in the 1760s, and he became a part of a
movement opposed to the British Parliament's efforts to tax the
British American colonies without their consent. His 1768
Massachusetts Circular Letter
Massachusetts Circular Letter calling for colonial non-cooperation
prompted the occupation of
Boston by British soldiers, eventually
resulting in the
Boston Massacre of 1770. Adams and his colleagues
devised a committee of correspondence system in 1772 to help
coordinate resistance to what he saw as the British government's
attempts to violate the
British Constitution at the expense of the
colonies, which linked like-minded Patriots throughout the Thirteen
Colonies. Continued resistance to British policy resulted in the 1773
Boston Tea Party and the coming of the American Revolution.
Parliament passed the
Coercive Acts in 1774, at which time Adams
Continental Congress in
Philadelphia which was convened
to coordinate a colonial response. He helped guide Congress towards
Continental Association in 1774 and the Declaration of
Independence in 1776, and he helped draft the Articles of
Confederation and the
Massachusetts Constitution. Adams returned to
Massachusetts after the American Revolution, where he served in the
state senate and was eventually elected governor.
Samuel Adams later became a controversial figure in American history.
Accounts written in the 19th century praised him as someone who had
been steering his fellow colonists towards independence long before
the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. This view gave way to negative
assessments of Adams in the first half of the 20th century, in which
he was portrayed as a master of propaganda who provoked mob violence
to achieve his goals. Both of these interpretations have been
challenged by some modern scholars, who argue that these traditional
depictions of Adams are myths contradicted by the historical record.
1 Early life
2 Early career
3 Struggle with Great Britain
3.1 Sugar Act
3.2 Stamp Act
3.3 Townshend Acts
Boston under occupation
3.5 "Quiet period"
3.6 Tea Party
4.1 First Continental Congress
4.2 Second Continental Congress
5 Return to Massachusetts
7 In popular culture
10 External links
Samuel Adams was born in
Boston in the British colony of Massachusetts
on September 16, 1722, an Old Style date that is sometimes converted
to the New Style date of September 27. Adams was one of twelve
children born to Samuel Adams, Sr., and Mary (Fifield) Adams in an age
of high infant mortality; only three of these children lived past
their third birthday. Adams's parents were devout Puritans
and members of the Old South Congregational Church. The family lived
on Purchase Street in Boston. Adams was proud of his Puritan
heritage, and emphasized
Puritan values in his political career,
Samuel Adams, Sr. (1689–1748) was a prosperous merchant and church
Deacon Adams became a leading figure in Boston
politics through an organization that became known as the Boston
Caucus, which promoted candidates who supported popular
Boston Caucus helped shape the agenda of the
Boston Town Meeting. A
New England town meeting is a form of local
government with elected officials, and not just a gathering of
citizens; according to historian William Fowler, it was "the most
democratic institution in the British empire".
rose through the political ranks, becoming a justice of the peace, a
selectman, and a member of the
Massachusetts House of
Representatives. He worked closely with Elisha Cooke,
Jr. (1678–1737), the leader of the "popular party", a faction that
resisted any encroachment by royal officials on the colonial rights
embodied in the
Massachusetts Charter of 1691. In the
coming years, members of the "popular party" became known as Whigs or
While at Harvard, Adams boarded at
Samuel Adams attended
Boston Latin School and then entered
Harvard College in 1736. His parents hoped that his schooling would
prepare him for the ministry, but Adams gradually shifted his interest
to politics. After graduating in 1740, Adams continued his
studies, earning a master's degree in 1743. In his thesis, he argued
that it was "lawful to resist the Supreme Magistrate, if the
Commonwealth cannot otherwise be preserved", which indicated that his
political views, like his father's, were oriented towards colonial
Adams's life was greatly affected by his father's involvement in a
banking controversy. In 1739,
Massachusetts was facing a serious
currency shortage, and
Deacon Adams and the
Boston Caucus created a
"land bank" which issued paper money to borrowers who mortgaged their
land as security. The land bank was generally supported by
the citizenry and the popular party, which dominated the House of
Representatives, the lower branch of the General Court. Opposition to
the land bank came from the more aristocratic "court party", who were
supporters of the royal governor and controlled the Governor's
Council, the upper chamber of the General Court. The court party
used its influence to have the British Parliament dissolve the land
bank in 1741. Directors of the land bank, including Deacon
Adams, became personally liable for the currency still in circulation,
payable in silver and gold. Lawsuits over the bank persisted for
years, even after
Deacon Adams's death, and the younger Samuel Adams
often had to defend the family estate from seizure by the
government. For Adams, these lawsuits
"served as a constant personal reminder that Britain's power over the
colonies could be exercised in arbitrary and destructive ways".
After leaving Harvard in 1743, Adams was unsure about his future. He
considered becoming a lawyer, but instead decided to go into business.
He worked at Thomas Cushing's counting house, but the job only lasted
a few months because Cushing felt that Adams was too preoccupied with
politics to become a good merchant. Adams's father then lent
him £1,000 to go into business for himself, a substantial amount for
that time. Adams's lack of business instincts were confirmed;
he lent half of this money to a friend who never repaid, and frittered
away the other half. Adams always remained, in the words of historian
Pauline Maier, "a man utterly uninterested in either making or
Old South Meeting House
Old South Meeting House (1968 photo shown) was Adams's church.
During the crisis with Great Britain, mass meetings were held here
that were too large for Faneuil Hall.
After Adams had lost his money, his father made him a partner in the
family's malthouse, which was next to the family home on Purchase
Street. Several generations of Adamses were maltsters, who produced
the malt necessary for brewing beer. Years later, a poet poked fun
at Adams by calling him "Sam the maltster". Adams has often
been described as a brewer, but the extant evidence suggests that he
worked as a maltster and not a brewer.
In January 1748, Adams and some friends were inflamed by British
impressment and launched The Independent Advertiser, a weekly
newspaper that printed many political essays written by
Adams. His essays drew heavily upon English political
theorist John Locke's Second Treatise of Government, and they
emphasized many of the themes that characterized his subsequent
career. He argued that the people must resist any encroachment
on their constitutional rights. He cited the decline of the Roman
Empire as an example of what could happen to
New England if it were to
Deacon Adams died in 1748, Adams was given the responsibility of
managing the family's affairs. In October 1749, he married
Elizabeth Checkley, his pastor's daughter. Elizabeth gave
birth to six children over the next seven years, but only two lived to
adulthood: Samuel (born 1751) and Hannah (born 1756). In July
1757, Elizabeth died soon after giving birth to a stillborn
son. Adams remarried in 1764 to Elizabeth Wells, but
had no other children.
Like his father, Adams embarked on a political career with the support
Boston Caucus. He was elected to his first political office in
1747, serving as one of the clerks of the
Boston market. In 1756, the
Boston Town Meeting elected him to the post of tax collector, which
provided a small income. He often failed to collect
taxes from his fellow citizens, which increased his popularity among
those who did not pay, but left him liable for the shortage.
By 1765, his account was more than £8,000 in arrears. The town
meeting was on the verge of bankruptcy, and Adams was compelled to
file suit against delinquent taxpayers, but many taxes went
uncollected. In 1768, his political opponents used the situation
to their advantage, obtaining a court judgment of £1,463 against him.
Adams's friends paid off some of the deficit, and the town meeting
wrote off the remainder. By then, he had emerged as a leader of the
popular party, and the embarrassing situation did not lessen his
Struggle with Great Britain
Samuel Adams emerged as an important public figure in
after the British Empire's victory in the French and Indian War
(1754–1763). The British Parliament found itself deep in debt and
looking for new sources of revenue, and they sought to directly tax
the colonies of
British America for the first time. This tax
dispute was part of a larger divergence between British and American
interpretations of the
British Constitution and the extent of
Parliament's authority in the colonies.
The first step in the new program was the
Sugar Act of 1764, which
Adams saw as an infringement of longstanding colonial rights.
Colonists were not represented in Parliament, he argued, and therefore
they could not be taxed by that body; the colonists were represented
by the colonial assemblies, and only they could levy taxes upon
them. Adams expressed these views in May 1764, when the Boston
Town Meeting elected its representatives to the
As was customary, the town meeting provided the representatives with a
set of written instructions, which Adams was selected to write. Adams
highlighted what he perceived to be the dangers of taxation without
For if our Trade may be taxed, why not our Lands? Why not the Produce
of our Lands & everything we possess or make use of? This we
apprehend annihilates our Charter Right to govern & tax ourselves.
It strikes at our British privileges, which as we have never forfeited
them, we hold in common with our Fellow Subjects who are Natives of
Britain. If Taxes are laid upon us in any shape without our having a
legal Representation where they are laid, are we not reduced from the
Character of free Subjects to the miserable State of tributary
Boston Town Meeting approved the Adams instructions on May
24, 1764," writes historian John K. Alexander, "it became the first
political body in America to go on record stating Parliament could not
constitutionally tax the colonists. The directives also contained the
first official recommendation that the colonies present a unified
defense of their rights." Adams's instructions were published in
newspapers and pamphlets, and he soon became closely associated with
James Otis, Jr., a member of the
Massachusetts House famous for his
defense of colonial rights. Otis boldly challenged the
constitutionality of certain acts of Parliament, but he would not go
as far as Adams, who was moving towards the conclusion that Parliament
did not have sovereignty over the colonies.
In 1765, Parliament passed the Stamp Act which required colonists to
pay a new tax on most printed materials. News of the passage
of the Stamp Act produced an uproar in the colonies. The
colonial response echoed Adams's 1764 instructions. In June 1765, Otis
called for a
Stamp Act Congress
Stamp Act Congress to coordinate colonial
resistance. The Virginia
House of Burgesses
House of Burgesses passed a widely
reprinted set of resolves against the Stamp Act that resembled Adams's
arguments against the Sugar Act. Adams argued that the Stamp Act
was unconstitutional; he also believed that it would hurt the economy
of the British Empire. He supported calls for a boycott of British
goods to put pressure on Parliament to repeal the tax.
In Boston, a group called the Loyal Nine, a precursor to the Sons of
Liberty, organized protests of the Stamp Act. Adams was friendly with
Loyal Nine but was not a member. On August 14, stamp
Andrew Oliver was hanged in effigy from Boston's Liberty
Tree; that night, his home was ransacked and his office demolished. On
August 26, lieutenant governor Thomas Hutchinson's home was destroyed
by an angry crowd.
Anne Whitney, Samuel Adams, bronze and granite statue, 1880, located
in front of Faneuil Hall, which was the home of the
Officials such as Governor Francis Bernard believed that common people
acted only under the direction of agitators and blamed the violence on
Adams. This interpretation was revived by scholars in the early
20th century, who viewed Adams as a master of propaganda who
manipulated mobs into doing his bidding. For example,
historian John C. Miller wrote in 1936 in what became the standard
biography of Adams that Adams "controlled"
Boston with his
"trained mob". Some modern scholars have argued that this
interpretation is a myth, and that there is no evidence that Adams had
anything to do with the Stamp Act riots. After the
fact, Adams did approve of the August 14 action because he saw no
other legal options to resist what he viewed as an unconstitutional
act by Parliament, but he condemned attacks on officials' homes as
"mobbish". According to the modern scholarly
interpretation of Adams, he supported legal methods of resisting
parliamentary taxation, such as petitions, boycotts, and nonviolent
demonstrations, but he opposed mob violence which he saw as illegal,
dangerous, and counter-productive.
In September 1765, Adams was once again appointed by the
Meeting to write the instructions for Boston's delegation to the
Massachusetts House of Representatives. As it turned out, he wrote his
own instructions; on September 27, the town meeting selected him to
replace the recently deceased Oxenbridge Thacher as one of Boston's
four representatives in the assembly. James Otis was attending the
Stamp Act Congress
Stamp Act Congress in New York City, so Adams was the primary author
of a series of House resolutions against the Stamp Act, which were
more radical than those passed by the Stamp Act Congress.
Adams was one of the first colonial leaders to argue that mankind
possessed certain natural rights that governments could not
The Stamp Act was scheduled to go into effect on November 1, 1765, but
it was not enforced because protestors throughout the colonies had
compelled stamp distributors to resign. Eventually, British
merchants were able to convince Parliament to repeal the tax.
By May 16, 1766, news of the repeal had reached Boston. There was
celebration throughout the city, and Adams made a public statement of
thanks to British merchants for helping their cause.
Massachusetts popular party gained ground in the May 1766
elections. Adams was re-elected to the House and selected as its
clerk, in which position he was responsible for official House papers.
In the coming years, Adams used his position as clerk to great effect
in promoting his political message. Joining Adams in
the House was John Hancock, a new representative from Boston. Hancock
was a wealthy merchant—perhaps the richest man in
Massachusetts—but a relative newcomer to politics. He was initially
a protégé of Adams, and he used his wealth to promote the Whig
After the repeal of the Stamp Act, Parliament took a different
approach to raising revenue, passing the
Townshend Acts in 1767 which
established new duties on various goods imported into the colonies.
These duties were relatively low because the British ministry wanted
to establish the precedent that Parliament had the right to impose
tariffs on the colonies before raising them. Revenues from these
duties were to be used to pay for governors and judges who would be
independent of colonial control. To enforce compliance with the new
Townshend Acts created a customs agency known as the
American Board of Custom Commissioners, which was headquartered in
Resistance to the
Townshend Acts grew slowly. The General Court was
not in session when news of the acts reached
Boston in October 1767.
Adams therefore used the
Boston Town Meeting to organize an economic
boycott, and called for other towns to do the same. By February
1768, towns in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut had joined
the boycott. Opposition to the
Townshend Acts was also encouraged
by Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, a series of popular essays
John Dickinson which started appearing in December 1767.
Dickinson's argument that the new taxes were unconstitutional had been
made before by Adams, but never to such a wide audience.
In January 1768, the
Massachusetts House sent a petition to King
George asking for his help. Adams and Otis requested
that the House send the petition to the other colonies, along with
what became known as the
Massachusetts Circular Letter, which became
"a significant milestone on the road to revolution". The letter
written by Adams called on the colonies to join with
resisting the Townshend Acts. The House initially voted
against sending the letter and petition to the other colonies but,
after some politicking by Adams and Otis, it was approved on February
British colonial secretary Lord Hillsborough, hoping to prevent a
repeat of the Stamp Act Congress, instructed the colonial governors in
America to dissolve the assemblies if they responded to the
Massachusetts Circular Letter. He also directed
Francis Bernard to have the
Massachusetts House rescind the
letter. On June 30, the House refused to rescind the letter
by a vote of 92 to 17, with Adams citing their right to petition as
justification. Far from complying with the governor's order,
Adams instead presented a new petition to the king asking that
Governor Bernard be removed from office. Bernard responded by
dissolving the legislature.
The commissioners of the
Customs Board found that they were unable to
enforce trade regulations in Boston, so they requested military
Help came in the form of the HMS Romney, a
fifty-gun warship which arrived in
Boston Harbor in May 1768.
Tensions escalated after the captain of the Romney began to impress
local sailors. The situation exploded on June 10, when customs
officials seized the Liberty, a sloop owned by John Hancock—a
leading critic of the
Customs Board—for alleged customs violations.
Sailors and marines came ashore from the Romney to tow away the
Liberty, and a riot broke out. Things calmed down in the following
days, but fearful customs officials packed up their families and fled
for protection to the Romney and eventually to Castle William, an
island fort in the harbor.
Governor Bernard wrote to London in response to the Liberty incident
and the struggle over the Circular Letter, informing his superiors
that troops were needed in
Boston to restore order. Lord
Hillsborough ordered four regiments of the
British Army to Boston.
Boston under occupation
Paul Revere's 1768 engraving of British troops arriving in
reprinted throughout the colonies.
Learning that British troops were on the way, the
Boston Town Meeting
met on September 12, 1768 and requested that Governor Bernard convene
the General Court. Bernard refused, so the town meeting
called on the other
Massachusetts towns to send representatives to
Faneuil Hall beginning on September 22. About 100
towns sent delegates to the convention, which was effectively an
unofficial session of the
Massachusetts House. The convention issued a
letter which insisted that
Boston was not a lawless town, using
language more moderate than what Adams desired, and that the impending
military occupation violated Bostonians' natural, constitutional, and
charter rights. By the time that the convention adjourned,
British troop transports had arrived in
Boston Harbor. Two
regiments disembarked in October 1768, followed by two more in
According to some accounts, the occupation of
Boston was a turning
point for Adams, after which he gave up hope of reconciliation and
secretly began to work towards American
independence. However, historian Carl Becker
wrote in 1928 that "there is no clear evidence in his contemporary
writings that such was the case." Nevertheless, the traditional,
standard view of Adams is that he desired independence before most of
his contemporaries and steadily worked towards this goal for
Pauline Maier challenged that idea in 1980,
arguing instead that Adams, like most of his peers, did not embrace
independence until after the
American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War had begun in
1775. According to Maier, Adams at this time was a
reformer rather than a revolutionary; he sought to have the British
ministry change its policies, and warned Britain that independence
would be the inevitable result of a failure to do
Adams wrote numerous letters and essays in opposition to the
occupation, which he considered a violation of the 1689 Bill of
Rights. The occupation was publicized throughout the colonies in
the Journal of Occurrences, an unsigned series of newspaper articles
that may have been written by Adams in collaboration with
others. The Journal presented what it claimed to be a
factual daily account of events in
Boston during the military
occupation, an innovative approach in an era without professional
newspaper reporters. It depicted a
Boston besieged by unruly British
soldiers who assaulted men and raped women with regularity and
impunity, drawing upon the traditional Anglo-American distrust of
standing armies garrisoned among civilians. The Journal
ceased publication on August 1, 1769, which was a day of celebration
in Boston: Governor Bernard had left Massachusetts, never to
Adams continued to work on getting the troops withdrawn and keeping
the boycott going until the Townshend duties were repealed. Two
regiments were removed from
Boston in 1769, but the other two
remained. Tensions between soldiers and civilians eventually
resulted in the killing of five civilians in the
Boston Massacre of
March 1770. According to the "propagandist
interpretation" of Adams popularized by
historian John Miller, Adams deliberately provoked the incident to
promote his secret agenda of American independence. According to
Pauline Maier, however, "There is no evidence that he prompted the
Boston Massacre riot".
Boston Massacre, Adams and other town leaders met with
Bernard's successor Governor Thomas Hutchinson and with Colonel
William Dalrymple, the army commander, to demand the withdrawal of the
troops. The situation remained explosive, and so Dalrymple
agreed to remove both regiments to Castle William.
Adams wanted the soldiers to have a fair trial, because this would
Boston was not controlled by a lawless mob, but was instead
the victim of an unjust occupation. He convinced his cousins John
Adams and Josiah Quincy to defend the soldiers, knowing that those
Whigs would not slander
Boston to gain an
acquittal. However, Adams wrote essays condemning
the outcome of the trials; he thought that the soldiers should have
been convicted of murder.
Boston Massacre, politics in
Massachusetts entered what is
sometimes known as the "quiet period". In April 1770, Parliament
repealed the Townshend duties, except for the tax on tea. Adams urged
colonists to keep up the boycott of British goods, arguing that paying
even one small tax allowed Parliament to establish the precedent of
taxing the colonies, but the boycott faltered. As economic
conditions improved, support waned for Adams's causes. In 1770,
first New York City then
Philadelphia abandoned the non-importation
boycott of British goods. Faced with the risk of being economically
Boston merchants agreed to generally end the non-importation
and effectively defeated Samuel Adams' cause in Massachusetts.
John Adams withdrew from politics, while
John Hancock and James Otis
appeared to become more moderate.
Samuel Adams was
re-elected to the
Massachusetts House in April 1772, but he received
far fewer votes than ever before.
Samuel Adams as he looked in 1795 when he was Governor of
Massachusetts. The original portrait was destroyed by fire; this is a
A struggle over the power of the purse brought Adams back into the
political limelight. Traditionally, the
Massachusetts House of
Representatives paid the salaries of the governor, lieutenant
governor, and superior court judges. From the Whig perspective, this
arrangement was an important check on executive power, keeping royally
appointed officials accountable to democratically elected
representatives. In 1772,
Massachusetts learned that those
officials would henceforth be paid by the British government rather
than by the province. To protest this development, Adams and his
colleagues devised a system of committees of correspondence in
November 1772; the towns of
Massachusetts would consult with each
other concerning political matters via messages sent through a network
of committees that recorded British activities and protested imperial
policies. Committees of correspondence soon formed in other
colonies, as well.
Governor Hutchinson became concerned that the committees of
correspondence were growing into an independence movement, so he
convened the General Court in January 1773. Addressing the
legislature, Hutchinson argued that denying the supremacy of
Parliament, as some committees had done, came dangerously close to
rebellion. "I know of no line that can be drawn", he said, "between
the supreme authority of Parliament and the total independence of the
colonies." Adams and the House responded that the
Massachusetts Charter did not establish Parliament's supremacy over
the province, and so Parliament could not claim that authority
now. Hutchinson soon realized that he had made a major
blunder by initiating a public debate about independence and the
extent of Parliament's authority in the colonies. The Boston
Committee of Correspondence published its statement of colonial
rights, along with Hutchinson's exchange with the
in the widely distributed "
The quiet period in
Massachusetts was over. Adams was easily
re-elected to the
Massachusetts House in May 1773, and was also
elected as moderator of the
Boston Town Meeting. In June 1773,
Adams introduced a set of private letters to the
written by Hutchinson several years earlier. In one letter, Hutchinson
recommended to London that there should be "an abridgement of what are
called English liberties" in Massachusetts. Hutchinson denied that
this is what he meant, but his career in
Massachusetts was effectively
over. The House sent a petition to the king asking for his
Adams took a leading role in the events that led up to the famous
Boston Tea Party of December 16, 1773, although the precise nature of
his involvement has been disputed.
In May 1773, the British Parliament passed the Tea Act, a tax law to
help the struggling East India Company, one of Great Britain's most
important commercial institutions. Britons could buy smuggled Dutch
tea more cheaply than the East India Company's tea because of the
heavy taxes imposed on tea imported into Great Britain, and so the
company amassed a huge surplus of tea that it could not
sell. The British government's solution to the problem was
to sell the surplus in the colonies. The
Tea Act permitted the East
India Company to export tea directly to the colonies for the first
time, bypassing most of the merchants who had previously acted as
middlemen. This measure was a threat to the American
colonial economy because it granted the Tea Company a significant cost
advantage over local tea merchants and even local tea smugglers,
driving them out of business. The act also reduced the taxes on tea
paid by the company in Britain, but kept the controversial Townshend
duty on tea imported in the colonies. A few merchants in New York,
Philadelphia, Boston, and Charlestown were selected to receive the
company's tea for resale. In late 1773, seven ships were
sent to the colonies carrying
East India Company
East India Company tea, including four
bound for Boston.
News of the
Tea Act set off a firestorm of protest in the
colonies. This was not a dispute about high taxes; the price
of legally imported tea was actually reduced by the Tea Act.
Protesters were instead concerned with a variety of other issues. The
familiar "no taxation without representation" argument remained
prominent, along with the question of the extent of Parliament's
authority in the colonies. Some colonists worried that, by buying
the cheaper tea, they would be conceding that Parliament had the right
to tax them. The "power of the purse" conflict was still at
issue. The tea tax revenues were to be used to pay the salaries of
certain royal officials, making them independent of the
people. Colonial smugglers played a significant role in the
protests, since the
Tea Act made legally imported tea cheaper, which
threatened to put smugglers of Dutch tea out of business.
Legitimate tea importers who had not been named as consignees by the
East India Company
East India Company were also threatened with financial ruin by the Tea
Act, and other merchants worried about the precedent of a
This iconic 1846 lithograph by
Nathaniel Currier was entitled "The
Destruction of Tea at
Boston Harbor"; the phrase "
Boston Tea Party"
had not yet become standard.
Adams and the correspondence committees promoted opposition to the Tea
Act. In every colony except Massachusetts, protesters
were able to force the tea consignees to resign or to return the tea
to England. In Boston, however, Governor
Hutchinson was determined to hold his ground. He convinced the tea
consignees, two of whom were his sons, not to back down. The
Boston Caucus and then the Town Meeting attempted to compel the
consignees to resign, but they refused.
With the tea ships about to arrive, Adams and the
Boston Committee of
Correspondence contacted nearby committees to rally support.
The tea ship Dartmouth arrived in the
Boston Harbor in late November,
and Adams wrote a circular letter calling for a mass meeting to be
Faneuil Hall on November 29. Thousands of people arrived, so
many that the meeting was moved to the larger Old South Meeting
House. British law required the Dartmouth to unload and pay
the duties within twenty days or customs officials could confiscate
the cargo. The mass meeting passed a resolution introduced by
Adams urging the captain of the Dartmouth to send the ship back
without paying the import duty. Meanwhile, the meeting
assigned twenty-five men to watch the ship and prevent the tea from
Governor Hutchinson refused to grant permission for the Dartmouth to
leave without paying the duty. Two more tea ships arrived in Boston
Harbor, the Eleanor and the Beaver. The fourth ship, the William, was
stranded near Cape Cod and never arrived to Boston. December 16 was
the last day of the Dartmouth's deadline, and about 7,000 people
gathered around the Old South Meeting House. Adams received a
report that Governor Hutchinson had again refused to let the ships
leave, and he announced, "This meeting can do nothing further to save
the country." According to a popular story, Adams's
statement was a prearranged signal for the "tea party" to begin.
However, this claim did not appear in print until nearly a century
after the event, in a biography of Adams written by his
great-grandson, who apparently misinterpreted the evidence.
According to eyewitness accounts, people did not leave the meeting
until ten or fifteen minutes after Adams's alleged "signal", and Adams
in fact tried to stop people from leaving because the meeting was not
While Adams tried to reassert control of the meeting, people poured
out of the
Old South Meeting House
Old South Meeting House and headed to
Boston Harbor. That
evening, a group of 30 to 130 men boarded the three vessels, some of
them thinly disguised as Mohawk Indians, and dumped all 342 chests of
tea into the water over the course of three
hours. Adams never revealed whether he
went to the wharf to witness the destruction of the tea. Whether
or not he helped plan the event is unknown, but Adams immediately
worked to publicize and defend it. He argued that the Tea
Party was not the act of a lawless mob, but was instead a principled
protest and the only remaining option that the people had to defend
their constitutional rights.
Great Britain responded to the
Boston Tea Party in 1774 with the
Coercive Acts. The first of these acts was the
Boston Port Act, which
closed Boston's commerce until the
East India Company
East India Company had been repaid
for the destroyed tea. The
Massachusetts Government Act
Massachusetts Government Act rewrote the
Massachusetts Charter, making many officials royally appointed rather
than elected, and severely restricting the activities of town
meetings. The Administration of Justice Act allowed colonists charged
with crimes to be transported to another colony or to Great Britain
for trial. A new royal governor was appointed to enforce the acts:
General Thomas Gage, who was also commander of British military forces
in North America.
Adams worked to coordinate resistance to the Coercive Acts. In May
Boston Town Meeting (with Adams serving as moderator)
organized an economic boycott of British goods. In June,
Adams headed a committee in the
Massachusetts House—with the doors
locked to prevent Gage from dissolving the legislature—which
proposed that an inter-colonial congress meet in
September. He was one of five delegates chosen to attend the First
Continental Congress. Adams was never fashionably dressed
and had little money, so friends bought him new clothes and paid his
expenses for the journey to Philadelphia, his first trip outside of
First Continental Congress
Adams as portrayed by Paul Revere, 1774. Yale University Art Gallery.
In Philadelphia, Adams promoted colonial unity while using his
political skills to lobby other delegates. On September 16,
Paul Revere brought Congress the Suffolk Resolves, one of
many resolutions passed in
Massachusetts that promised strident
resistance to the Coercive Acts.
Congress endorsed the Suffolk Resolves, issued a Declaration of Rights
that denied Parliament's right to legislate for the colonies, and
organized a colonial boycott known as the Continental
Adams returned to
Massachusetts in November 1774, where he served in
Massachusetts Provincial Congress, an extralegal legislative body
independent of British control. The Provincial Congress created the
first minutemen companies, consisting of militiamen who were to be
ready for action on a moment's notice. Adams also served as
moderator of the
Boston Town Meeting, which convened despite the
Massachusetts Government Act, and was appointed to the Committee of
Inspection to enforce the Continental Association. He was also
selected to attend the Second Continental Congress, scheduled to meet
Philadelphia in May 1775.
John Hancock had been added to the delegation, and he and Adams
attended the Provincial Congress in
Concord, Massachusetts before
Adams' journey to the second Congress. The two men decided that it was
not safe to return to
Boston before leaving for Philadelphia, so they
stayed at Hancock's childhood home in Lexington. On April 14,
1775, General Gage received a letter from Lord Dartmouth advising him
"to arrest the principal actors and abettors in the Provincial
Congress whose proceedings appear in every light to be acts of treason
and rebellion". On the night of April 18, Gage sent out a
detachment of soldiers on the fateful mission that sparked the
American Revolutionary War. The purpose of the British expedition was
to seize and destroy military supplies that the colonists had stored
in Concord. According to many historical accounts, Gage also
instructed his men to arrest Hancock and Adams, but the written orders
issued by Gage made no mention of arresting the Patriot
Gage had evidently decided against seizing Adams and Hancock, but
Patriots initially believed otherwise, perhaps influenced by London
newspapers that reached
Boston with the news that the patriot leader
would be hanged if he were caught. From Boston, Joseph Warren
Paul Revere to warn the two that British troops were on the
move and might attempt to arrest them. As Hancock and Adams made
their escape, the first shots of the war began at Lexington and
Concord. Soon after the battle, Gage issued a proclamation granting a
general pardon to all who would "lay down their arms, and return to
the duties of peaceable subjects"—with the exceptions of Hancock and
Samuel Adams. Singling out Hancock and Adams in this manner only
added to their renown among Patriots and, according to Patriot
historian Mercy Otis Warren, perhaps exaggerated the importance of the
Second Continental Congress
In John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence, Adams is seated to the
viewer's right of Richard Henry Lee, whose legs are crossed in the
Continental Congress worked under a secrecy rule, so Adams's
precise role in congressional deliberations is not fully documented.
He appears to have had a major influence, working behind the scenes as
a sort of "parliamentary whip" and
Thomas Jefferson credits
Samuel Adams—the lesser-remembered Adams—with steering the
Congress toward independence, saying, "If there was any
Samuel Adams was the man." He served on numerous
committees, often dealing with military matters.
Adams was a cautious advocate for a declaration of independence,
urging eager correspondents back in
Massachusetts to wait for more
moderate colonists to come around to supporting separation from Great
Britain. He was pleased in 1775 when the colonies began to
replace their old governments with independent republican
governments. He praised Thomas Paine's popular pamphlet
Common Sense, writing as "Candidus" in early 1776, and supported the
call for American independence. On June 7, Adams's political ally
Richard Henry Lee
Richard Henry Lee introduced a three-part resolution calling for
Congress to declare independence, create a colonial confederation, and
seek foreign aid. After a delay to rally support, Congress approved
the language of the
United States Declaration of Independence
United States Declaration of Independence on July
4, 1776, which Adams signed.
After the Declaration of Independence, Congress continued to manage
the war effort. Adams served on military committees, including an
appointment to the
Board of War
Board of War in 1777. He advocated paying
Continental Army soldiers to encourage them to reenlist for
the duration of the war. He called for harsh state
legislation to punish Loyalists—Americans who continued to support
the British crown—who Adams believed were as dangerous to American
liberty as British soldiers. In Massachusetts, more than 300 Loyalists
were banished and their property confiscated. After the war,
Adams opposed allowing Loyalists to return to Massachusetts, fearing
that they would work to undermine republican government.
Adams was the
Massachusetts delegate appointed to the committee to
draft the Articles of Confederation, the plan for the colonial
confederation. With its emphasis on state sovereignty, the Articles
reflected Congress's wariness of a strong central government, a
concern shared by Adams. Like others at the time, Adams considered
himself a citizen of the United States while continuing to refer to
Massachusetts as his "country". After much debate, the
Articles were sent to the states for ratification in November 1777.
From Philadelphia, Adams urged
Massachusetts to ratify, which it did.
Adams signed the
Articles of Confederation
Articles of Confederation with the other
Massachusetts delegates in 1778, but they were not ratified by all the
states until 1781.
Adams returned to
Boston in 1779 to attend a state constitutional
Massachusetts General Court
Massachusetts General Court had proposed a new
constitution the previous year, but voters rejected it, and so a
convention was held to try again. Adams was appointed to a three-man
drafting committee with his cousin
John Adams and James Bowdoin.
They drafted the
Massachusetts Constitution, which was amended by the
convention and approved by voters in 1780. The new constitution
established a republican form of government, with annual elections and
a separation of powers. It reflected Adams's belief that "a state is
never free except when each citizen is bound by no law whatever that
he has not approved of, either directly, or through his
representatives". By modern standards, the new constitution was
not "democratic"; Adams, like most of his peers, believed that only
free males who owned property should be allowed to vote, and that the
senate and the governor served to balance any excesses that might
result from majority rule.
In 1781, Adams retired from the Continental Congress. His health was
one reason; he was approaching his sixtieth birthday and suffered from
tremors that made writing difficult. But he also wanted to return
Massachusetts to influence politics in the Commonwealth. He
Boston in 1781, and never left Massachusetts
Return to Massachusetts
Adams remained active in politics upon his return to Massachusetts. He
frequently served as moderator of the
Boston Town Meeting, and was
elected to the state senate, where he often served as that body's
Adams focused his political agenda on promoting virtue, which he
considered essential in a republican government. If republican leaders
lacked virtue, he believed, liberty was endangered. His major opponent
in this campaign was his former protégé John Hancock; the two men
had a falling out in the Continental Congress. Adams disapproved of
what he viewed as Hancock's vanity and extravagance, which Adams
believed were inappropriate in a republican leader. When Hancock left
Congress in 1777, Adams and the other
Massachusetts delegates voted
against thanking him for his service as president of Congress.
The struggle continued in Massachusetts. Adams thought that Hancock
was not acting the part of a virtuous republican leader by acting like
an aristocrat and courting popularity. Adams favored James
Bowdoin for governor, and was distressed when Hancock won annual
Adams's promotion of public virtue took several forms. He played a
major role in getting
Boston to provide a free public education for
children, even for girls, which was controversial.
Adams was one of the charter members of the American Academy of Arts
and Sciences in 1780. After the Revolutionary War, Adams joined
others, including Thomas Jefferson, in denouncing the Society of the
Cincinnati, an organization of former army officers. Adams worried
that the Society was "a stride towards an hereditary military
nobility", and thus a threat to republicanism. Adams also
believed that public theaters undermined civic virtue, and he joined
an ultimately unsuccessful effort to keep theaters banned in
Boston. Decades after Adams's death, orator Edward Everett
called him "the last of the Puritans".
I firmly believe that the benevolent Creator designed the republican
Form of Government for Man.
Samuel Adams, April 14, 1785
Postwar economic troubles in western
Massachusetts led to an uprising
known as Shays's Rebellion, which began in 1786. Small farmers,
angered by high taxes and debts, armed themselves and shut down debtor
courts in two counties. Governor
James Bowdoin sent four thousand
militiamen to put down the uprising, an action supported by
Adams. His old political ally James Warren thought that Adams had
forsaken his principles, but Adams saw no contradiction. He approved
of rebellion against an unrepresentative government, as had happened
during the American Revolution, but he opposed taking up arms against
a republican government, where problems should be remedied through
elections. He thought that the leaders of
Shays's Rebellion should be
hanged, reportedly saying that "the man who dares to rebel against the
laws of a republic ought to suffer death".
Shays's Rebellion contributed to the belief that the Articles of
Confederation needed to be revised. In 1787, delegates to the
Philadelphia Convention, instead of revising the Articles, created a
United States Constitution
United States Constitution with a much stronger national
government. The Constitution was sent to the states for ratification,
when Adams expressed his displeasure. "I confess," he wrote to Richard
Henry Lee in 1787, "as I enter the Building I stumble at the
Threshold. I meet with a National Government, instead of a Federal
Union of States." Adams was one of those derisively labeled
"Anti-Federalists" by proponents of the new Constitution, who called
themselves "Federalists". Adams was elected to the
Massachusetts ratifying convention which met in January 1788. Despite
his reservations, Adams rarely spoke at the convention, and listened
carefully to the arguments rather than raising objections.
John Hancock had reconciled, and they finally agreed to give
their support for the Constitution, with the proviso that some
amendments be added later. Even with the support of Hancock
and Adams, the
Massachusetts convention narrowly ratified the
Constitution by a vote of 187 to 168.
While Adams was attending the ratifying convention, his only son
Samuel Adams, Jr. died at just 37 years of age. The younger Adams had
served as surgeon in the Revolutionary War, but had fallen ill and
never fully recovered. The death was a stunning blow to the elder
Adams. The younger Adams left his father the certificates that he
had earned as a soldier, giving Adams and his wife unexpected
financial security in their final years. Investments in land made them
relatively wealthy by the mid-1790s, but this did not alter their
Adams was concerned about the new Constitution and made an attempt to
re-enter national politics. He allowed his name to be put forth as a
candidate for the
United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives in the
December 1788 election, but lost to Fisher Ames, apparently because
Ames was a stronger supporter of the Constitution, a more popular
position. Despite his defeat, Adams continued to work for
amendments to the Constitution, a movement that ultimately resulted in
the addition of a Bill of Rights in 1791. Adams subsequently
became a firm supporter of the Constitution, with these amendments and
the possibility of more.
In 1789, Adams was elected Lieutenant
Governor of Massachusetts
Governor of Massachusetts and
served in that office until Governor Hancock's death in 1793, when he
became acting governor. The next year, Adams was elected as governor
in his own right, the first of four annual terms. He was generally
regarded as the leader of his state's Jeffersonian Republicans, who
were opposed to the Federalist Party. Unlike some other
Republicans, Adams supported the suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion
in 1794 for the same reasons that he had opposed Shays's
Rebellion. Like his fellow Republicans, he spoke out against the
Jay Treaty in 1796, a position that drew criticism in a state that was
increasingly Federalist. In that year's U. S. presidential
election, Republicans in Virginia cast 15 electoral votes for Adams in
an effort to make him Jefferson's vice-president, but Federalist
John Adams won the election, with Jefferson becoming vice-president.
The Adams cousins remained friends, but Samuel was pleased when
John Adams in the 1800 presidential election.
Samuel Adams took a cue from President Washington, who declined to run
for reelection in 1796: he retired from politics at the end of his
term as governor in 1797. Adams suffered from what is now
believed to have been essential tremor, a movement disorder that
rendered him unable to write in the final decade of his life. He
died at the age of 81 on October 2, 1803, and was interred at the
Granary Burying Ground
Granary Burying Ground in Boston. Boston's Republican
Independent Chronicle eulogized him as the "Father of
the American Revolution".
Samuel Adams grave marker in the Granary Burying Ground
Samuel Adams is a controversial figure in American history.
Disagreement about his significance and reputation began before his
death and continues to the present.
Adams' contemporaries, both friends and foes, regarded him as one of
the foremost leaders of the American Revolution. Thomas Jefferson, for
example, characterized Adams as "truly the Man of the
Revolution." Leaders in other colonies were compared to him;
Cornelius Harnett was called the "
Samuel Adams of North Carolina",
Charles Thomson the "
Samuel Adams of Philadelphia", and
Christopher Gadsden the "Sam Adams of the South". When John Adams
traveled to France during the Revolution, he had to explain that he
was not Samuel, "the famous Adams".
Supporters of the Revolution praised Adams, but Loyalists viewed him
as a sinister figure. Peter Oliver, the exiled chief justice of
Massachusetts, characterized him as a devious Machiavellian with a
"cloven Foot". Thomas Hutchinson, Adams' political foe, took his
revenge in his History of
Massachusetts Bay, in which he denounced him
as a dishonest character assassin, emphasizing his failures as a
businessman and tax collector. This hostile "Tory interpretation" of
Adams was revived in the 20th century by historian Clifford K. Shipton
in the Sibley's Harvard Graduates reference series. Shipton
wrote positive portraits of Hutchinson and Oliver and scathing
sketches of Adams and Hancock; his entry on Adams was characterized by
Pauline Maier as "forty-five pages of contempt".
Whig historians challenged the "Tory interpretation" of Adams. William
Gordon and Mercy Otis Warren, two historians who knew Adams, wrote of
him as a man selflessly dedicated to the American
Revolution. But in the early 19th century, Adams was often
viewed as an old-fashioned Puritan, and was consequently neglected by
historians. Interest in Adams was revived in the mid-19th
George Bancroft portrayed him favorably in his
monumental History of the United States from the Discovery of the
American Continent (1852). The first full biography of Adams appeared
in 1865, a three-volume work written by William Wells, his
great-grandson. The Wells biography is still
valuable for its wealth of information, although Whig portrayals
of Adams were uncritically pro-American and had elements of
hagiography, a view that influenced some later biographies written for
In the late 19th century, many American historians were uncomfortable
with contemporary revolutions and found it problematic to write
approvingly about Adams. Relations had improved between the United
States and the United Kingdom, and Adams' role in dividing Americans
from Britons was increasingly viewed with regret. In 1885,
James Hosmer wrote a biography that praised Adams, but also found some
of his actions troubling, such as the 1773 publication of Hutchinson's
private letters. Subsequent biographers became increasingly
hostile towards Adams and the common people whom he represented. In
1923, Ralph V. Harlow used a "Freudian" approach to characterize Adams
as a "neurotic crank" driven by an "inferiority
complex". Harlow argued that, because the masses
were easily misled, Adams "manufactured public opinion" to produce the
Revolution, a view that became the thesis of John C. Miller's 1936
biography Sam Adams: Pioneer in Propaganda. Miller portrayed
Adams more as an incendiary revolutionary than an adroit political
operative, attributing to this one man all the acts of Boston's "body
of the people", and consistently calling his subject "Sam", despite
the fact that Adams was almost always known as "Samuel" in his
Miller's influential book became, in the words of historian Charles
Akers, the "scholarly enshrinement" of "the myth of Sam Adams as the
Boston dictator who almost single-handedly led his colony into
rebellion". According to Akers, Miller and other historians used
"Sam did it" to explain crowd actions and other developments, without
citing any evidence that Adams directed those events. In 1974,
Akers called on historians to critically re-examine the sources rather
than simply repeating the myth. By then, scholars were
increasingly rejecting the notion that Adams and others used
"propaganda" to incite "ignorant mobs", and were instead portraying a
Massachusetts too complex to have been controlled by one
Pauline Maier argued that Adams, far
from being a radical mob leader, took a moderate position based on the
English revolutionary tradition that imposed strict constraints on
resistance to authority. That belief justified force only against
threats to the constitutional rights so grave that the "body of the
people" recognized the danger, and only after all peaceful means of
redress had failed. Within that revolutionary tradition, resistance
was essentially conservative. In 2004, Ray Raphael's Founding Myths
continued Maier's line by deconstructing several of the "Sam" Adams
myths that are still repeated in many textbooks and popular
In popular culture
In the 2008 miniseries John Adams,
Samuel Adams was played by Danny
Adams is the main protagonist in the 2015 miniseries Sons of Liberty,
portrayed by Ben Barnes.
Samuel Adams's name has been appropriated by commercial and non-profit
ventures since his death. The
Boston Beer Company created Samuel Adams
Boston Lager in 1985, drawing upon the tradition that Adams had been a
brewer; it became a popular award-winning brand. Adams's name is
also used by a pair of non-profit organizations, the Sam Adams
Alliance and the Sam Adams Foundation. These groups take their names
from Adams in homage to his ability to organize citizens at the local
level in order to achieve a national goal.
Adams appears in the video game
Assassin's Creed III
Assassin's Creed III and is portrayed
by Mark Lindsay Chapman.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 103.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 136.
^ a b Maier 1980, p. 41.
^ a b Maier 1980, p. 42.
^ Wells 1865, p. 221.
^ Hosmer 1885, p. 14.
^ a b c d Alexander 2002, p. 1.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 4.
^ Puls 2006, p. 22.
^ Puls 2006, p. 21.
^ Miller 1936, p. 3.
^ Miller 1936, p. 4.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 2.
^ a b Maier 1980, p. 19.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 8.
^ Miller 1936, p. 7.
^ Miller 1936, p. 8.
^ a b Puls 2006, p. 23.
^ a b Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 11.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 10.
^ Miller 1936, p. 9.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 23.
^ a b c Alexander 2002, p. 74.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 16.
^ Puls 2006, p. 25.
^ Miller 1936, p. 15.
^ Miller 1936, p. 16.
^ a b c d e Alexander 2002, p. 7.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 25.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 4.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 5.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 21.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 6.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 23.
^ a b c d Alexander 2002, p. 8.
^ a b c d e Alexander 2002, p. 9.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 10.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 11.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 12.
^ a b Miller 1936, p. 17.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 3.
^ a b c d Maier, American National Biography.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 58.
^ a b Baron 1962, p. 74.
^ Wells 1865, p. 24.
^ Baron 1962, p. 75.
^ Stoll (Samuel Adams, 275n16) notes that James Koch, founder of the
Boston Beer Company, reports having been offered for purchase a
receipt for hops signed by Adams, which indicates that Adams may have
done some brewing.
^ Miller 1936, p. 18.
^ Miller 1936, p. 21.
^ Miller 1936, p. 19.
^ Puls 2006, p. 30.
^ a b Puls 2006, p. 31.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 34.
^ Puls 2006, p. 32.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 55.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 14.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 14, "The failure to collect all taxes was a
^ a b c Alexander 2002, p. 27.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 53.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 54.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 50.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 17.
^ Bailyn, Ideological Origins, 162.
^ a b Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 51.
^ a b Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 52.
^ The complete text is in Cushing, Writings, 1:1–7.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 21.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 22.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 53.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 18.
^ Miller 1936, p. 50.
^ Miller 1936, p. 51.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 61.
^ a b c Alexander 2002, p. 24.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 25.
^ a b Miller 1936, p. 53.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 48.
^ "Samuel Adams".
Boston Public Arts Commission. Retrieved February 3,
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 26.
^ a b O'Toole 1976, p. 90.
^ a b c d e O'Toole 1976, p. 91.
^ Raphael 2004, p. 51.
^ Raphael 2004, p. 52.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 66, Fowler believes that Adams
must have known about the attack on Hutchinson's home in advance,
though he concedes that there are no records that link him to the
^ a b c d Maier 1980, p. 27.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 28.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 29.
^ a b Maier 1980, p. 26.
^ a b Maier 1980, p. 28.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 30.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 32.
^ a b c Alexander 2002, p. 33.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 37.
^ Puls 2006, p. 62.
^ Wells 1865, p. 112.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 40.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 41.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 44.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 45.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 73.
^ Nobles, "Old Republicans", 269.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 39.
^ a b c d Alexander 2002, p. 50.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 49.
^ a b c Alexander 2002, p. 51.
^ In London, the petition to the king was published, along with other
documents, by Thomas Hollis under the title "The True Sentiments of
^ Hosmer 1885, p. 109.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 52.
^ a b Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 78.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 79.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 80.
^ a b c Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 82.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 55.
^ a b c Alexander 2002, p. 57.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 59.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 60.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 81.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 61.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 62.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 63.
^ a b Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 88.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 65.
^ Wells 1865, p. 207.
^ Hosmer 1885, p. 119.
^ Hosmer 1885, p. 120.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 64.
^ Becker, "Samuel Adams". Dictionary of American Biography.
^ Raphael 2004, p. 47.
^ Raphael 2004, p. 55.
^ a b Maier 1980, p. 25.
^ Maier 1980, p. 15.
^ Notes that Stewart Beach's Samuel Adams, the Fateful Years (1965)
also questioned whether Adams sought independence before the
^ Maier 1980, p. 21.
^ a b Maier 1980, p. 22.
^ Maier 1980, p. 23.
^ Maier 1980, p. 24.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 67.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 90.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 91.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 92.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 68.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 69.
^ a b O'Toole 1976, p. 92.
^ a b O'Toole 1976, p. 93.
^ a b O'Toole 1976, p. 94.
^ a b O'Toole 1976, p. 95.
^ Miller 1936, p. 276.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 82.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 105.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 83.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 84.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 107.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 85.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 109.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 110.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 94.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 95.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 93.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 91.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 111.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 105.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 97.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 98.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 99.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 104.
^ Wells 1865, p. 334.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 117.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 106, "Adams and others had previously
suspected that Hutchinson's salary was being paid by the Crown; this
had been unconfirmed until this development".
^ Wells 1865, p. 84.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 111.
^ a b c Alexander 2002, p. 112.
^ a b Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 120.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 113.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 114.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 116.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 118.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 119.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 121.
^ Hutchinson maintained that he was predicting a curtailment of
liberty, rather than recommending it; for the modern scholarly
analysis of the letters affair, see Bernard Bailyn, The Ordeal of
Thomas Hutchinson (Cambridge, 1974).
^ Thomas, Townshend Duties, 248–49
^ Labaree 1979, p. 334.
^ Labaree 1979, p. 67.
^ Labaree 1979, p. 70.
^ Labaree 1979, p. 75.
^ Labaree 1979, p. 76.
^ a b Labaree 1979, p. 78.
^ Labaree 1979, p. 79.
^ a b c d Alexander 2002, p. 120.
^ a b Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 122.
^ Thomas, Townshend Duties, 246.
^ Labaree 1979, p. 106.
^ Labaree 1979, p. 102.
^ See also John W. Tyler, Smugglers & Patriots:
and the Advent of the
American Revolution (Boston, 1986).
^ Thomas, Townshend Duties, 256.
^ Alfred F. Young, The Shoemaker and the Tea Party: Memory and the
American Revolution (Boston: Beacon Press, 1999;
ISBN 0-8070-5405-4; ISBN 978-0-8070-5405-5), 183–85.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 121.
^ Labaree 1979, p. 96.
^ Labaree 1979, p. 97.
^ Labaree 1979, p. 98.
^ Labaree 1979, p. 99.
^ Labaree 1979, p. 100.
^ Labaree 1979, p. 104.
^ Labaree 1979, p. 105.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 122.
^ Labaree 1979, p. 109.
^ Labaree 1979, p. 110.
^ Labaree 1979, p. 111.
^ Labaree 1979, p. 112.
^ a b c d Alexander 2002, p. 123.
^ This was not an official town meeting, but a gathering of "the body
of the people" of greater Boston
^ Alexander 2002, p. 124.
^ Puls 2006, p. 143.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 125.
^ Wells 1865, p. 122.
^ Wells 1865, p. 123.
^ Miller 1936, p. 294.
^ a b Raphael 2004, p. 53.
^ Maier 1980, p. 29.
^ a b Maier 1980, p. 30.
^ a b Maier 1980, p. 31.
^ Maier 1980, p. 32.
^ For firsthand accounts that contradict the story that Adams gave the
signal for the tea party, see L. F. S. Upton, ed., "Proceeding of Ye
Body Respecting the Tea", William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, 22
(1965), 297–98; Francis S. Drake, Tea Leaves: Being a Collection of
Letters and Documents, (Boston, 1884), LXX;
Boston Evening Post,
December 20, 1773;
Boston Gazette, December 20, 1773; Massachusetts
Boston Weekly News-Letter, December 23, 1773.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 126.
^ Labaree 1979, p. 141.
^ Labaree 1979, p. 142.
^ Labaree 1979, p. 143.
^ Labaree 1979, p. 144.
^ a b Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 124.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 129.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 130.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 131.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 132.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 133.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 135.
^ a b c Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 130.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 137.
^ Maier 1980, p. 33.
^ Maier 1980, p. 34.
^ a b Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 131.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 139.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 140.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 132.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 133.
^ Raphael 2004.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 143.
^ Fowler & Fowler 1997, p. 134.
^ Fischer, Paul Revere's Ride, 94, 108.
^ Fischer, Paul Revere's Ride, 76; Alden, "March to Concord", 451.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 146.
^ Alden, "March to Concord", 453.
^ Burgan, Patriot and Statesman, 11
^ Fischer, Paul Revere's Ride, 110.
^ The text of Gage's proclamation is available online from the Library
^ Maier 1980, p. 17.
^ Raphael 2004, p. 62.
^ Raphael 2004, p. 63.
^ "Key to Declaration of Independence". Retrieved 2007-02-26.
^ Nobles, "Old Republicans", 264, citing Jack N. Rakove, The
Beginnings of National Politics: An Interpretive History of the
Continental Congress (New York 1979), 103.
^ Randall, Henry Stephens, The Life of Thomas Jefferson, J. B.
Lippincott, 1871, p. 182
^ Alexander 2002, p. 150.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 151.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 152.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 153.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 157.
^ Wells 1865, p. 468.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 158.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 159.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 161.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 162.
^ a b c Alexander 2002, p. 193.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 194.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 163.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 197.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 181.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 184.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 183.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 185.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 167.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 188.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 170.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 171.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 189.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 178.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 186.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 187.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 192.
^ "Charter of Incorporation". American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Retrieved 6 April 2011.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 196.
^ Hosmer 1885, p. 404.
^ Maier 1980, p. 47, quoting Everett's 1835 "Battle of Lexington"
^ Maier 1980, p. 44.
^ Cushing, Writings, 4:314
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 202.
^ a b c Alexander 2002, p. 203.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 204.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 205.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 206.
^ Wells 1865, p. 260.
^ Wells 1865, p. 261.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 207.
^ Wells 1865, p. 255.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 209.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 219.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 210.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 211.
^ a b Alexander 2002, p. 214.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 215.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 213.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 217.
^ Puls 2006, p. 227.
^ Hosmer 1885, p. 409.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 218.
^ Elan D. Louis. "Samuel Adams' tremor". Neurology (2001) 56:1201–05
(online abstract). Retrieved February 19, 2009.
^ Hosmer 1885, p. 416.
^ Hosmer 1885, p. 417.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 221.
^ a b c Maier 1980, p. 7.
^ Maier 1980, p. 8.
^ a b O'Toole 1976, p. 82.
^ Maier 1980, p. 5.
^ a b Maier 1980, p. 3.
^ E. Stanly Godbold, "Gadsden, Christopher"; American National
Biography Online, February 2000.
^ O'Toole 1976, p. 83.
^ a b O'Toole 1976, p. 84.
^ a b c Maier 1980, p. 11.
^ a b c O'Toole 1976, p. 85.
^ a b Maier 1980, p. 6.
^ a b O'Toole 1976, p. 86.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 229.
^ Alexander 2002, p. 230.
^ Maier 1980, p. 14.
^ Maier 1980, p. 9.
^ Maier 1980, p. 10.
^ See Ralph V. Harlow, Samuel Adams, Promoter of the American
Revolution: A Study in Psychology and Politics (Holt, 1923).
^ Raphael 2004, p. 58.
^ Raphael 2004, p. 59.
^ Akers, "Sam Adams – And Much More", 120–21.
^ Akers, "Sam Adams – And Much More", 121–22.
^ Akers, "Sam Adams – And Much More", 130.
^ Raphael 2004, p. 45-63.
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York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1904–08.
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Press, 1994. ISBN 0-19-508847-6.
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Little, Brown. p. 437.
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Adams, John Hancock, and the Crisis of Popular Leadership in
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in Producing and Forwarding the American Revolution, with Extracts
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